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Old 01-06-2013, 10:13 PM   #1
mathrick
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Question Rooting PB 611?

Hello, I've got a PB611. I've searched quite a bit, but I couldn't find any info on rooting the device, at least not in English. Has anyone at all found a way to gain full root access to the non-Android models of PocketBooks? What about flashing custom firmware?

PS. Why are there no thread prefixes for Basic 611/613 (aka Basic New)/622 (aka Touch)?
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:16 PM   #2
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there is no such info yet
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:44 PM   #3
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Thanks. Has anyone been working on it? Is it because it's too hard, or because there's no interest?
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:00 PM   #4
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Thanks. Has anyone been working on it? Is it because it's too hard, or because there's no interest?
The last time the device was rooted, it was because of a hole in a suid networking utility. They fixed that hole, and nothing new has been found. The number of suid root executables is small, so it's very possible that all of the holes are plugged.

The other option is to try to hack the firmware installation procedure, but that is complicated, and also seems to be secure. It looks like they use public/private keys to check for tampering in the firmware before installation, so pre-inserting stuff in the firmware to help with rooting would probably require getting ones hands on PB's private key. That's pretty unlikely, I would say.

The firmware contents aren't encrypted, so if you could write your own installer, you could modify the firmware contents, and install them on a device with an old enough firmware that can be rooted. You would have to pretty much duplicate the official upgrade procedure, which would be difficult because a lot of it is done by binary executables rather than shell scripts. Getting it wrong would likely leave one with a useless device (because the firmware installation procedure requires a working system). So, the odds are low, and the price is high.

Finally, PB has made the device pretty hackable without requiring root, so it's usually easier to find a way to do something without root than to try to figure out how to root the device.

Edit: the old rootable firmwares were for the Pro and previous models. I don't think the new models ever had a firmware version that could be rooted.

Last edited by rkomar; 02-01-2013 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:46 AM   #5
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That's understandable, although really pretty unfortunate in the sense that they could've done so much better with regards to openness -- it's hackable, but at the same time, third-party apps still stay very much second-class. Had they made it fully open, and defined proper protocols, extension points and ways to install things without requiring poorly-documented changes in five different places (like when you install CoolReader), it could've combatted a lot of the ecosystem disadvantage they have compared to Kindle and other products offered by companies with huge platforms to back them with.

Either way, thanks for the detailed reply!
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:07 PM   #6
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That's understandable, although really pretty unfortunate in the sense that they could've done so much better with regards to openness -- it's hackable, but at the same time, third-party apps still stay very much second-class. Had they made it fully open, and defined proper protocols, extension points and ways to install things without requiring poorly-documented changes in five different places (like when you install CoolReader), it could've combatted a lot of the ecosystem disadvantage they have compared to Kindle and other products offered by companies with huge platforms to back them with.

Either way, thanks for the detailed reply!
In PB's defence, they do include proprietary dictionaries, and the text-to-speech engine may be proprietary, as well. They are probably legally required to keep users from using those features in an unlicensed way, which means no root access on the device. It's unfortunate, but I don't expect them to make their platform more open that way without first removing those features for everyone.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:07 PM   #7
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Yes, that is understandable. I suspect the Adobe DRM is also an issue. It's pretty annoying what a mess the whole situation is.
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